Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Entries from July 2008

ANF changes approach on Bill Express

July 31st, 2008 · 33 Comments

The Australian Newsagents’ Federation today did a u-turn in advising newsagents to suspend direct debit authorities for the Bill Express equipment. They also said that their goal is the dissolution of the equipment rental agreements and that the present ANF Board had been placed in a complicated situation. Today’s communication matches what I put to […]

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Tags: Bill Express

OnQ creditor proof of debt claim

July 31st, 2008 · 20 Comments

Click here to download a copy of the proof of debt form newsagent can complete to register as a creditor of OnQ. OnQ is the company which committed to paying a monthly rebate to newsagents. I have lodged a form for rebates not paid this year. Once you have completed the form, keep a copy […]

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Tags: Bill Express

Collectively bargaining on Bill Express matters

July 31st, 2008 · 3 Comments

Based on ANF advice to newsagents, the organisation appears to be collectively bargaining on behalf of newsagents with Allco and Mobius in pursuit of a discounted settlement over newsagent’s Bill Express equipment rental agreement. I cannot find authorisation from the ACCC on their Collective bargaining notifications register for the ANF to act on behalf of […]

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Tags: Bill Express

Reusing the Grazia display

July 31st, 2008 · No Comments

We reused most of our Grazia display from last week this week.  We have used this week’s posters on the stand. Having the monochrome background enabled us to get away with it and to give Grazia our premium position two weeks running. The stand (to the left) is important in a display like this – […]

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Tags: magazines · retail

Olympics themed magazines

July 31st, 2008 · 2 Comments

I am surprised at the lack of Olympics themed magazines and related products. With the Beijing Olympic games just over a week away we have very little available, certainly not enough for a feature display. Maybe we missed out but I suspect not.  We had more feature magazines and one-shot titles for the Rugby World […]

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Tags: magazines

Goodbye yellow?

July 31st, 2008 · No Comments

US research company Borrell Associates has released a report predicting that 39% of the ad spend on print yellow pages in the US will disappear over the next five years. 0 likes

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Tags: Media disruption

A UK supermarket’s magazine demands

July 30th, 2008 · No Comments

Check out the demands ASDA in the UK (Wal-Mart owned supermarket) is putting on magazine publishers as reported by the Guardian. I particularly like the proposed setup charge for a new title. New titles are expensive for newsagents, we carry the stock while the title finds its level. A new title setup charge would respect […]

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Tags: magazines · retail

Take 5 and the angel

July 30th, 2008 · No Comments

We have placed Take 5 in our prime counter promotional position today because of the free guardian angel brooch which comes with the magazine this week. While I’d prefer customers buy one of our guardian angels, I’m equally happy to sell magazines because of such a good giveaway. We achieve between 60% and 75% of […]

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Tags: magazines · retail

Cancelling the Bill Express direct debit

July 30th, 2008 · 14 Comments

The Banking Industry Ombudsman website has some helpful information for canceling a direct debit which may be useful to newsagents who have had payments deducted for Bill Express equipment this week even though they had cancelled the direct debit authority with their bank. If you have given a third party an authority to debit your […]

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Tags: Bill Express

Newsagents need strong leadership on Bill Express mess

July 30th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Mark Hawthorne at The Age today continues excellent reporting on Bill Express and the collapse of OnQ. We have spoken to the Administrators of OnQ and they have provided a formal proof of debt form. This will need to be completed and lodged with Worrells in advance of any creditors meeting. My view is that […]

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Tags: Bill Express

Starbucks closes 61 stores

July 30th, 2008 · 4 Comments

The announcement from Starbucks was drenched in the harsh reality of business. Sixty one underperforming Australian stores will close within a week. Tenancies vacated, employees (partners) let go, supplier relationships terminated. This is how corporates act. They put up with poor numbers for so long and then make the decision which has to be made. […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges · retail

The economics of newspaper cover price

July 30th, 2008 · 6 Comments

While consumers would be happy that the Daily Telegraph has not increased its cover price for eight years, newsagents are not happy. What newsagents earn is based on the cover price. Having this fixed for eight years makes the Daily Telegraph considerably less valuable today than eight years ago. Rents are rising 5% a year […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges · Newspapers

National Geographic talks down newsagents

July 30th, 2008 · No Comments

I am okay with magazine publishers including subscription offers in their publications. However, I am not okay with them talking us down in the process. The photo is of a flyer inserted with National Geographic. This flyer claims we are expensive. We are. Rent and labour in newsagencies make up the most of our costs. […]

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Tags: magazines · Newsagency challenges

Warning about magazine returns

July 29th, 2008 · 13 Comments

Newsagents are about to receive a letter reminding them about the importance of the accuracy of returns claims.  Network Services has increased the number of newsagent returns being audited.  This has resulted in some breach notices being issued and several newsagents having their contracts terminated. Based on my recent experience on behalf of another newsagent, […]

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Tags: magazines · Newsagency challenges

OnQ collapses

July 29th, 2008 · No Comments

OnQ, the parent of the collapsed Bill Express company, has announced the appointment of administrators.  This move was only a matter of time given once Bill Express collapsed. I am a creditor of OnQ as are most newsagents.  The Agreement I signed commits the company to paying rebates as outlined in Schedule D attached to […]

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Tags: Bill Express

New Tattersalls campaign

July 29th, 2008 · 3 Comments

Party like there’s no tomorrow. This is the theme of new marketing collateral from Tattersalls. We are going all by placing the poster in our empty Tattersalls scratch ticket bays. Woo hoo. 0 likes

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Tags: Lotteries

Partworks row

July 29th, 2008 · No Comments

We have created a partworks row in front of our counter at the entrance to our Forest Hill store.  As with my last post, this says we are specialists.  Each of these partworks has been or is being advertised on TV.  Newsagents are the exclusive retail partner.  By being bold about these products we are […]

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Tags: magazines · partworks · retail

Money saving opportunities

July 29th, 2008 · 9 Comments

We have created a small display around magazines with the SAVE MONEY! theme near our front lottery counter. Each title has been chosen because it offers practical advice on how to save money from budget meals through to cutting household costs. Most of the titles rarely get to the front of the shop. None are […]

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Tags: magazines · retail

Gloria Jeans and magazines

July 29th, 2008 · 6 Comments

I have heard a rumour that Gloria Jeans coffee outlets are to trial a direct supply arrangement for a small range of magazine titles.  I mention it here in the hope that it may shake out either a confirmation or a denial. 0 likes

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Tags: magazines · Newsagency challenges

New opportunity for the ANF

July 28th, 2008 · 5 Comments

The departure of ANF (Acting?) CEO Don MacAskill today is an opportunity for the ANF to regroup from what has been an unsuccessful three years. The mission to unify newsagents behind a single national body has failed, newsagents are quitting the ANF over its involvement in promoting newsagents into the now collapsed Bill Express contracts […]

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Tags: Bill Express · Newsagency challenges

Evidence in the fine print

July 28th, 2008 · 42 Comments

On the weekend I checked my Bill Express and Mobius equipment agreements and noticed that the document version markings, in fine print on the lower left corner of each page, matched.  These common markings link the Bill Express and Mobius equipment finance agreements. Much has been made about these agreements being separate.  The ANF in […]

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Tags: Bill Express

Famous with a nail file

July 28th, 2008 · No Comments

We are promoting Famous at the counter at our Frankston newsagency this week. The free nail file / shiner is bound to drive a good sales result for this poor cousin of the weeklies. The photo shows the display we have created to support Famous – it’s a copy of the counter displays we have […]

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Tags: magazines · retail

Seeing double, again

July 28th, 2008 · No Comments

Last week it was Take 5 and That’s Life with very similar mastheads, today it is Woman’s Day and New Idea. Do the art departments from Pacific and ACP drink at the same pub? Customers are sure to be confused. 0 likes

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Tags: magazines · retail

General Motors, newspapers and newsagents

July 28th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Scott Karp has written an excellent piece about what newspapers could learn from the General Motors decision to transform their business around producing a commercially viable electric car. The connection between the GM reinvention and newspapers is covered in this paragraph: All the talk about “saving newspapers” is focused on finding new business models to […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges · newsagency of the future

Finding good pencil cases

July 28th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Newsagencies should have a good range of pencil cases. Most don’t. While there are a couple of basic student pencil cases, few newsagents have a good range. The photo shows part of a new range we have found for our newsagencies. They are selling well, especially to girls. Their fashionable colours and designs make them […]

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Tags: Stationery